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EFCC Re-Arraigns Skye Bank Ex-Chairman Tunde Ayeni, MD Oguntayo For Allegedly Laundering N8bn

Peter Okunoren

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday re-arraigned a former Chairman, Board of Directors, Skye Bank Plc (now Polaris Bank), Mr Tunde Ayeni, and the former Managing Director, MD of the Bank, Timothy Ajani Oguntayo, before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, of a Federal High Court, Abuja, on an eight-count charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of N8billion.

They were initially arraigned before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of a Federal High Court, Abuja on December 17, 2018, shortly after which the judge was transferred out of Abuja to the Delta Division of the Court.

One of the counts reads: “That you, Dr. Tunde Ayeni whilst being the Chairman, Board of Directors of Skye Bank Plc and Timothy Ajani Oguntayo whilst being the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Skye Bank between the years 2014 and 2015 conspired at different times to do an illegal act, to wit; caused cash delivery to you, Dr. Tunde Ayeni of the sums of money totalling N4,750,000,000 and USD5,000,000 belonging to Skye Bank Plc, contrary to the provisions of Section 1(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended) read together with Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 16(2) (b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended).”

They pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.

Wole Olanipekun, SAN, lead defence counsel, applied that the Court allow the defendants to continue on the bail terms earlier granted them by Justice Dimgba.

Counsel for the EFCC, Suraj Saeda, SAN, noted that the defendant had been attending court as expected, and had not jumped bail, adding that, “we have no objection to deny them bail on the condition imposed by Justice Dimgba.”

Justice Dimgba had admitted them to bail in the sum of N50 million with two sureties each in like sum, who may be either civil servants of not less than the rank of Assistant Director or be private businessmen or professionals provided that one of the sureties is a civil servant.

Justice Ojukwu, thereafter granted them bail as requested and adjourned to July 2, 2019.

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Melaye Vs Adeyemi: INEC Fixes November 16 For Fresh Kogi West Senatorial Election

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The fresh Kogi West Senatorial election involving Sen. Dino Melaye of the PDP and Sen. Smart Adeyemi of the APC is to hold on November 16, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Melaye and Adeyemi INEC, in a statement, signed Mr. Festus Okoye, Chairman of its Information and Voter Committee, said that the senate election would hold simultaneously with the Kogi governorship election.

Okoye, INEC National Commissioner, in a statement made available to journalists on Monday in Abuja, said that another by-election for the Sabuwa State Constituency in Katsina State had been slated for November 30.

“The decision was taken at the commission’s meeting held on Monday,” the statement said. He said that the fresh election was a sequel to the nullification of the Kogi West Senatorial District election conducted on February 23, by the Election Petitions Tribunal and its subsequent affirmation by the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal had upheld the ruling of the Election Petitions Tribunal which nullified the election of Sen. Dino Melaye (PDP), following a suit filed by Sen. Smart Adeyemi of the APC.

The Appeal Court, on October 11, 2019, ordered INEC to conduct a fresh election within 90 days from the date of judgment with all those who participated in it as eligible candidates. Okoye appealed to the candidates and political parties to conduct issue-based campaigns. “We also enjoin stakeholders to eschew violence and avoid acts capable of creating apprehension or a sense of fear before, during and after the elections,” he said.

Okoye also disclosed that following extensive consultations with stakeholders and a review of the security situation with the relevant security agencies, the Commission fixed Nov. 30 for the conduct of bye-election in Sabuwa State Constituency, Katsina State.

He recalled that the Katsina State House of Assembly, vide a letter with Reference Number KTSHA/PER/HON/l24/VOL.l/24, dated Sept. 26, notified INEC of the death of Mustapha Abdullahi, who represented the constituency, and subsequently declared the seat vacant.

He said that the Commission would issue the Notice of Election on October 23, while the conduct of party primaries would take place between October 24 and November 6.

According to Okoye, the last day for the submission of personal particulars of candidates (Form CF001), and the list of candidates (Form CFOO2) is November 8.

“The last day for the submission of names and addresses of polling agents is November 15, while campaigns will end on November 28,” he said.

(Vanguard)

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BREAKING: Heavily Armed Thugs Attack Kwankwaso In Kano, 8 Persons Critically Injured

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Former Governor of Kano State and the immediate past Senator representing Kano Central, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, was attacked by thugs who are yet to be identified in Kano, Monday.

The attack, which followed the former governor’s visit to his hometown, Madobi where he had gone to open a midwifery school, was said to have been carried out around the state underpass.

Eight persons were said to have been critically injured while several cars were damaged beyond recognition.

However, Hajiya Binta Sipikin, Kwankwaso’s media aide, linked the attack to thugs loyal to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.

She said, “This attack was preplanned because we were told that heavy-armed thugs were waiting under the bridge to attack us when we were coming from Madobi.

“We believe Ganduje was behind this attack because we heard one of his aide names being mentioned during the attack.”

She noted that scores of their members were seriously injured and currently receiving medical attention in various clinics including the International Hospital while 10 vehicles destroyed and personal items carted away by political thugs believed to have been sponsored by the Kano State Government at Sharada Panshekara Sabon Titi bridge.

However, one of the Governor’s top aides, who pleaded not to be named, denied being behind the attack on Kwankwaso’s convoy.

He alleged that the attack was an internal wrangling between the Kwankwasiyya members who were apparently tired of their boss, Kwankwaso.

He said, “The attack was a misunderstanding between the Kwankwasiyya members, who accused Kwankwaso of betraying their trust by after them for his personal gains.”

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BREAKING: Court Orders Forfeiture Of Saraki’s Houses In Ikoyi

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A federal high court sitting in Lagos has ordered the temporary forfeiture of two properties of Bukola Saraki, former senate president, in the Ikoyi area of Lagos state.

Nnaemeka Omewa, a counsel of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC), had approached the court, seeking an order of interim forfeiture of the properties located at 17A McDonald Road, Ikoyi, Eti Osa local government area of Lagos.

He had told the court that they were acquired through “proceeds of unlawful activities”.

Part of the reliefs sought by the EFCC included “An order of this honourable Court forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria landed property with appurtenances situate, lying and known as No. 17A McDonald Road, Ikoyi, Eti Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State found and recovered from the respondent which property is reasonably suspected to have been acquired with proceeds of unlawful activity”.

The commission alleged that while serving as governor of Kwara state, Saraki withdrew over N12 billion cash from the account of the Kwara government and paid the same into his accounts domiciled in Access and Zenith Banks through one of his personal assistant, Abdul Adama.

Delivering ruling on the application, Mohammed Liman, the presiding judge, ordered interim forfeiture of the two properties.

He also instructed that the EFCC should publish the order in a national newspaper within 14 days, for anyone with interest in the properties to show cause, why they should not be finally forfeited to the federal government.

The federal government had arraigned Saraki at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) while he was the nation’s number three citizen.

He was accused of failing to declare his assets, an allegation he denied, alleging that he was being witch-hunted.

The supreme court subsequently dismissed the false assets declaration trial.

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